Clinical trials still proceeding in China

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit some regions of China with intensity, clinical trials of investigational drugs have continued, with government authorities instituting strict controls on protocols and methods to ensure patient safety and the efficacy of trial results.

Guidance by the China Forums of Clinical Research Capacity Building and Human Research Participants Protection (CCHRPP) permits the delivery of investigational drugs to patients participating in clinical trials when appropriate. Under the guidelines, the drugs must be delivered by qualified couriers with the capacity to properly store and transport the pharmaceuticals, and clinical trial managers must carefully monitor and record the packaging and storage of the drugs at every stage of the direct to patient process. The guidelines forbid delivery to patients of toxic, psychotropic or anesthetic drugs, or drugs that require injection.

The guidelines are not mandates to Chinese hospitals and clinics conducting clinical trials but are being widely followed. Delivery policies may be relaxed if the epidemic continues to stabilize.